Making the decision to get divorced is hard, and the next step may not be so obvious in the wake of all the emotions divorce typically provokes. But, at some point, most people end up talking with a divorce lawyer. The time leading up to the first meeting is often full of fear and anxiety for the potential client as they ponder the personal information they must reveal, and confront the many stereotypes attributed to lawyers. In addition, meeting with a lawyer to discuss divorce may be the first time the person has ever consulted an attorney, which can feel overwhelming and intimidating. Divorce is one of the most stressful events a person can experience, but working with an experienced divorce attorney can help to dispel some of the constant worry. Thus, instead of the trepidation that comes from entering this setting blind, a discussion on what to expect and the types of information to prepare before such a meeting will be offered in hopes of soothing some of these worries and facilitating a more productive discussion.
Preparation is important for both reducing anxiety and maximizing the time the person has with the attorney. To start this process, one should envision what he/she wants life to look like post-divorce, and figure out what is needed to make that happen (i.e., property division, support, etc.). In addition, make a list of questions about any practical or legal aspects of divorce that are unclear. Finances are big part of any divorce, and will influence how the attorney approaches this case. Thus, Florida requires both parties to a divorce to file a financial affidavit outlining expenses and income, which is used to calculate child support and to decide the division of property. While it is not necessary to have all the details and documents collected at this stage, having an informed understanding of one’s assets and obligations is very helpful and relevant information the attorney needs. Be prepared to discuss past and current marital problems and issues that are likely to be disputed in the divorce.
What Will Happen at the Meeting?
The most important thing to remember about the initial consultation is that no decision must be made right away. Look at this meeting as a fact-finding opportunity, and keep in mind the purpose is for the attorney to get to know the potential client. Then, both can mutually decide if there is a good fit and take the necessary steps to formalize the attorney/client relationship. The attorney will ask questions about the marriage, children and any unique dynamics affecting the family. In addition, the client will learn about the divorce process, including options on the types of divorce that apply to his/her situation. Finally, while every divorce is unique, there are some commonalities, and the attorney has likely heard a similar story before. Thus, there is no need to feel embarrassed about the specifics of the situation – the attorney is there to help.
Get Legal Advice
The consequences of divorce are far-reaching and permanent, which is why consulting with an experienced divorce attorney is important to protecting your long-term interests. The Tampa Bay law firm All Family Law Group, P.A. strives to resolve divorce cases as amicably as possible, but is prepared to fight for your rights in court if necessary. Contact the Tampa divorce attorneys and family lawyers at All Family Law Group, P.A. in Tampa Bay at 813-816-2232 for a consultation at no charge or email us.
by Lynette Silon-Laguna Google+